PNG images: Frying pan
A frying pan, frypan, or skillet is a flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning foods. It is typically 200 to 300 mm (8 to 12 in) in diameter with relatively low sides that flare outwards, a long handle, and no lid. Larger pans may have a small grab handle opposite the main handle. A pan of similar dimensions, but with less flared vertical sides and often with a lid, is called a sauté pan. While a sauté pan can be used like a frying pan, it is designed for lower heat cooking methods, namely sautéing.
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A process for bonding Teflon to chemically roughened aluminum was patented in France by Marc Gregoire in 1954. In 1956 he formed a company to market non-stick cookware under the "Tefal" brand name. The durability of the early coatings was poor, but improvements in manufacturing have made these products a kitchen standard. The surface is not as tough as metal and the use of metal utensils (e.g. spatulas) can permanently mar the coating and degrade its non-stick property.
For some cooking preparations a non-stick frying pan is inappropriate, especially for deglazing, where the residue of browning is to be incorporated in a later step such as a pan sauce. Since little or no residue can stick to the surface, the sauce will fail for lack of its primary flavouring agent.
Non-stick frying pans featuring teflon coatings may give off toxic fumes, as the coating decomposes when heated beyond approximately 240 °C (464 °F). Such temperatures can be reached within minutes on gas or electric ranges using high heat.
Copper frying pans were used in ancient Mesopotamia. Frying pans were also known in ancient Greece where they were called tagēnon and Rome, where they were called patella or sartago. The word panderives from the Old English panna. Before the introduction of the kitchen stove in the mid-19th century, a commonly used cast iron cooking pan called a spider had a handle and three legs used to stand up in the coals and ashes of the fire. Cooking pots and pans with legless, flat bottoms were designed when cooking stoves became popular; this period of the late 19th century saw the introduction of the flat cast iron skillet.